From the list on contemporary African American authors.
Who am I?
I'm a contemporary African American writer born and raised in the South. It was this sense of place that has shaped my artistic sensibilities. I was in my mid-twenties, searching, seeking for answers and direction on my own, when other Black southern writers were instrumental in pointing me in the right direction: Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Margaret Walker, Ernest J Gaines, Alice Walker, Arna Bontemps, Albert Murray, just to name a handful. Their writings were revelatory. The same issues that they were dealing with a generation earlier were the same ones I was struggling with every day. It opened my eyes, mind, heart and creativity to put into perspective what I was feeling.
James' book list on contemporary African American authors
Why did James love this book?
This book epitomizes what it means to be Black and male in American society and how one’s poor choices or the choices that chose one can be overcome. Horton, a native of the segregated South and the by-product of educators, headed north to college and became swept away by the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s. A major drug smuggler, he spent seven years in prison for his crime. But it was during that time, that poetry discovered him and upon his release he earned a B.A., Master, and PhD degrees. In fact, he describes himself as the only tenured professor with seven convicted felonies. In addition, Horton is an award-winning poet, essayist, musician, and devotes much of his time to outreach into the criminal justice system to provide hope for others. Dead Weight, with its theme of redemption, is destined to become an American classic and should be…